North Carolina Legislators Propose Bill to Ban Same-Sex Marriage

An attempt to defy the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling in North Carolina has little chance of getting a hearing.

  • Published 12 April 2017

On 11 April 2017, four North Carolina House Republicans filed a bill that would ban same-sex marriage in the state, despite a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that declared such laws to be unconstitutional.

House Bill 780, or the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” would declare that “the Obergefell v. Hodges decision of the United States Supreme Court of 2015 is null and void in the State of North Carolina,” declaring that “the decree of Almighty God” exceeds the power of the court. The bill is likely dead on arrival, the News & Observer reported:

House Bill 780 is titled “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” and is sponsored by some of the House’s most conservative legislators. They frequently file bills that don’t get a hearing because House GOP leaders don’t support the proposals.

The bill would order state government to return to the constitutional amendment known as Amendment One, which was approved in a 2012 voter referendum. It also says that same-sex marriages performed in other states wouldn’t be recognized in North Carolina.

In a 12 April 2017 news release, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said that the bill had no chance of advancing in the state’s legislature:

There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue, therefore House Bill 780 will be referred to the House Rules Committee and will not be heard.”

Fellow Republican lawmakers in the state decried the bill, calling it “stupid” and even “fake news”:

North Carolina’s Roy Moore described the anti-marriage equality bill as “wrong,” opining “[w]e need more LGBT protections, not fewer.” The state’s policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union called the proposal “half-baked,” “absurd,” and said it was in defiance of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage.
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